Cristian Alexander Jonsson, Global Head of Capital Structuring Distribution Group & Loan Syndications

StanChart’s head working in SG for 10 years caught drunk driving

It was reported in the media today (13 Sep) that a global head at Standard Chartered Bank, Cristian Alexander Jonsson, 48, was caught for drink driving after midnight last Thu (5 Sep). Apparently, he had downed about seven glasses of wine at a restaurant in Dempsey Road before driving off.

The Swede, who is a Singapore permanent resident, was fined $2,000 in court yesterday after pleading guilty. He was also disqualified from driving all classes of vehicles for 18 months.

According to his LinkedIn page, Jonsson was transferred from UBS in London to its Singapore office in 2004. He worked as the Head of APAC Bond Syndicate & Hedge Fund Sales for about 4 years before leaving UBS in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis.

One year later in 2009, he managed to secure a position in Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore working as its Global Head of Capital Structuring Distribution Group & Loan Syndications.

Responding to the media if any disciplinary actions Standard Chartered would take against Jonsson, a bank’s spokesperson replied, “We will review the matter in line with our internal policies and procedures. It is inappropriate for us to comment further.”

EDB says to get more Singaporeans to helm MNCs

In 2013, EDB Chairman Leo Yip told the media that his vision is to see Singapore becoming a global business hub with MNCs setting up their command centre here and with Singaporeans at the helm of these firms.

“More companies are increasingly conducting global decision-making activities, such as procurement and brand management, out of Asia,” he said. “The market pull of Asia is increasingly attracting multinational companies… (and) companies are responding and organising themselves to have both regional and global functions here.”

He said EDB would work with these MNCs to help get more locals into top posts.

“If the company brings in a new activity that is leading-edge… to kick off the activity here, professionals from overseas might need to be brought in,” he explained. “But Singapore’s value proposition to these global companies would not be complete without Singaporean skills and talent.”

To that end, a pipeline of local managerial talent is needed to support the international and regional headquarters being set up here. He said EDB is working with companies to develop programmes that will identify locals for key positions.

“The best talent environment is not just about being able to recruit the talent, but also about being able to grow and develop talent here,” said Mr Yip.

In the case of Standard Chartered, it appears that the foreign talent Jonsson has been a head at the bank for the past 10 years. It’s not known why EDB can’t work with the bank to groom a Singaporean to take over this position, as envisaged by the EDB Chairman to have more Singaporeans helming MNCs.

Has EDB failed Singaporeans or perhaps Mr Yip was just saying something nice for our local media to publish?